「美咲、雅ヶ丘学園へ」 (Misaki, Miyabigaoka Gakuen he)
“Misaki, Heading to Miyabigaoka Academy”
Hints of Special A, Skip Beat, and now Hana Yori Dango. What’s there not to love about this series? If I were only judging it on Fujimura Ayumi‘s portrayal of one of the best tsunderes I’ve seen in a while, Kaichou no Maid-sama would already be a shoo-in. The fact that they can portray some good drama in the process without it coming off overly melodramatic or cheesy though just tips the scales in this series’ favor even more. Here, we have the almighty heir of the Igarashi conglomerate Tora pushing his weight around and trying to make a plaything of the nearly poverty-stricken Misaki, who gets forced into wearing a fairly revealing maid outfit. It was at this point that visions of Hana Yori Dango episode two filled my head, which were further warranted when Tora flaunted his money in Misaki’s face under the assumption he could buy her out. Naturally, my immediate reaction to that was, “You wish Tora. Misaki’s not that cheap of a woman to be swayed by your filthy money!”; however, when she refused to transfer and he proved to be too much for her to handle with his Judo wrestling/submission skills — looking like he was going to rape Misaki — I was hoping and praying for Usui’s arrival before she even whimpered out “U-su-i” under her breath.
What do you know, right on cue our prince in shining armor comes busting through the door and smoothly retrieves his cherished princess from the grasps of the evil villainous pervert. It’s a darn shame I didn’t get to see Misaki in a Miyabigaoko uniform when it looks so much better than the dull green Seika ones, but the deredere moment she shared with Usui for saving her more than made up for it. As seen on a few other occasions already, her soft-spoken words of gratitude are clearly having an effect of Usui in return as well, making the two of them absolutely adorable to watch. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t envious of Usui and wanted to be in his shoes, but I can’t say I’m confident about my ability to jump off a school rooftop and live to look cool about it. Anyway, with the little bit of drama shown here and foreshadowing that this isn’t the last we’ve seen or heard from Tora, I really like how the story’s working towards Misaki opening up to Takumi and almost instinctively confiding in him (…when she’s not calling him a perverted stalker that is). It’s ridiculously cute to see too, which is right up there with the lovely maid outfit Tora got Misaki to put on.
On the comedic side of things, I felt kind of sorry for our three idiots for visiting Maid Latte on Naoya’s birthday, only to find out that Misa-chan wasn’t working. Subsequently, I got a good laugh at how the birthday cake they received from Honoka and the others was addressed to the “Three Idiots”. Also, Suzuna is showing her blunt humor more and more lately, with the way she can make delicious looking food out of nothing more than bean curd and always throws in the “it’s because we’re poor” line nonchalantly. She should seriously consider working for a meat substitute food company that targets vegetarians because she could be making millions with products like that! Looking at the preview, I’m not too sure what to expect of the next episode other than Misaki will be taking on the role of Momotarou in some way. Regardless, she’s still a maid first and foremost, so I gather it’ll be lots of fun as usual. This series’ track record has been pretty good so far, seeing as it hasn’t let me down one bit in the past eight episodes. With a girl like Misaki though, it’s pretty hard to disappoint.